This year, we want to stream the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but of course, we happened to have cut our cable cord years ago. Instead, we rely on several streaming services — mainly Netflix, the free HBOMax subscription that came with our phone plan, and our beloved Apple TV+ subscription But….Team USA! Team USA! So, how do we watch?
We simply cannot miss Simone Biles dominate the gymnastics arena, plus we’re excited to see Nyjah Huston compete in the new street skateboarding category, and so many other incredible athletes this year.
I’m so ready to get passionately competitive about table tennis and canoe slalom, aren’t you?
Yes, we know it’s weird, that even though it’s 2021 they’re still calling these the 2020 Olympics, since they were pushed from last year. And sadly, this year foreign spectators have been banned from entering Japan to watch the events due to COVID. (Edited to add: And now there’s even more controversy around Sha’Carri Richardson’s arguably unfair and inarguably tragic ban. Boo.)
But the good news is that broadcasters are making sure we get a chance to see all the coverage we could possibly want instead…as in, 7,000 hours of coverage.
Here are your options for the best ways to stream the Tokyo Summer Olympics, even for those of you like us who don’t have cable.
Photo by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil via Creative Commons
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The best way to stream the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics
NBC is the official broadcast partner of the Olympics, so their Peacock streaming service will be the best bet to see everything you want to see. You can already see some pre-Olympic content there, like athlete bio-docs and qualifying rounds. Then, once the games start on July 23, major events like basketball, gymnastics, and track & field will be streamed across their free service.
Just click the “join now” button to create a login to access their free content.
If you upgrade to their Peacock Premium service ($5/month) you can get access to coverage from 6 am to 12 am ET every day. I went ahead and paid the $5 for Peacock Premium now, so I can watch the Tour de France, which started this weekend. I may cancel it after the games…or I may keep it to stream The Office anytime we need a laugh.
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How to stream the 2020 Tokyo Olympics without cable
The official YouTube Olympics Channel will stream select events (including some qualifying events) for free. You can also choose to follow the channels for select major sports — say you’re really only interested in gymnastics, for example.
If you want to watch online or share to your smart TV, Olympics.com will be offering limited streaming Olympic coverage of some sports.
If you have a Hulu Live subscription, you can watch all of NBC’s Olympic coverage across their different stations there.
Smart TV Channels
If you have Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, or Amazon Fire TV, you can download the free Olympic Channel app (link here for Roku) to watch coverage of the games too.
You can also watch through subscription including Sling TV ($10 for the first month) and fubo TV (7 day free trial).
Get more info about programming on the Olympic Channel website.
Am I missing something? The Olympic Channel app on AppleTV seems to require a cable provider subscription.
The Olympic Channel app is subscription free and provides extra content (for free) outside of the live NBC broadcasts. In the app’s FAQs it says they do broadcast live events, but are restricted from broadcasting what NBC shows. I think the best option is still the Peacock free app if you don’t want to pay anything, or the $5 subscription if you want to see full coverage.